Bush says 'I'm the decision-maker' on Iraq

Updated: 2007-01-27 09:13


On Iran, Bush and senior U.S. officials did not deny a report in The Washington Post that U.S. forces had the authority to capture or kill Iranian agents active in attacking American soldiers inside Iraq.

"It makes sense that if somebody is trying to harm our troops or stop us from achieving our goals or killing innocent citizens in Iraq, that we will stop them," Bush said. "It's an obligation we all have to protect our folks and achieve our goals."

Bush said any operations against Iranians would be conducted only inside Iraq. Two weeks ago, his comments about going after Iranian networks operating in Iraq prompted speculation in Washington the United States might launch attacks inside Iran.

"Some are trying to say that because we're enforcing, helping ourselves in Iraq by stopping outside influences killing our soldiers and hurting Iraqi people, that we want to expand this. ... That's a presumption that's simply not accurate," Bush said.

"We believe that we can solve our problems with Iran diplomatically and are working to do that," he said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said he supported "whatever it takes to protect" U.S. troops in Iraq "but for the president to escalate this conflict outside Iraq is something he has to come back and ask us permission to do."

Several Iranian officials have been detained in three U.S. raids over the past month.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the United States was looking at a "mountain of evidence" that Iranian agents were engaged in activities in Iraq and the Bush administration hoped to present some of that publicly.


Top World News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours